Between January 2020 and January 2021, Auto & General Insurance has noticed a spike of 47% in tyre and rim claims in South Africa.
Provinces including Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and Mpumalanga saw the steepest increase in claims, said the company.
Although it rose for both men and women, a large proportion of claims were submitted by men between the ages of 31 and 37 – who drove newer vehicles.
“This is a significant increase and badly maintained roads are a serious concern,” it said.
“One bad patch of road could lead to punctures, tyre bulges, bad wheel alignment and balancing, uneven tyre wear, cracked rims, damaged undercarriage, damaged tyre walls and blowouts – which could very well cost you your life,” said Ricardo Coetzee, Head of Auto & General Insurance.
Poor roads to blame
The president of the South African Road Federation (SARF), Saied Solomons, stated that national roads are not being timeously and properly maintained, and this costing South African citizens millions.
With costs rapidly rising as roads reach the point of no repair, a total rehabilitation effort may need to be undertaken.
Auto & General provided the following guidelines for navigating poorly-maintained roads:
- Proactive maintenance – Make sure that your car is checked and serviced regularly. A vehicle that is 100% ready to meet challenging road surfaces is the best first line of defence.
- On spec – Make sure the wheels and tyres that you fit to your car match the manufacturer’s specification and that tyres are properly inflated.
- Profile carefully – Low-profile tyres may give a vehicle a sportier look, but reduce the space between the rim and the road surface. Fit tyres that are in the “Goldilocks zone” between being sporty, offering comfort, and protecting against rough road surfaces.
- Emergency kit – Make sure that your vehicle is equipped with basic wheel changing tools and safety equipment.